Antenatal pelvic floor biometry is related to levator ani muscle injury
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To evaluate the relationship between antenatal pelvic floor biometry and levator ani muscle (LAM) injury in Chinese women.


Three-dimensional transperineal ultrasound was performed in nulliparous Chinese women with a singleton pregnancy at 9–12 weeks, 26–28 weeks and 36–38 weeks of gestation and again at 12 months after delivery. Hiatal anteroposterior (AP) diameter, transverse diameter and area were measured on the antenatal ultrasound volumes obtained at rest, on Valsalva maneuver and during pelvic floor muscle contraction (PFMC). LAM injury was evaluated using ultrasound volumes obtained during PFMC at 12 months after delivery.


In total, 328 women completed the study. At 12 months after delivery, 38 (14.8% of those who delivered vaginally) women had LAM injury; 28 were unilateral (14 right- and 14 left-sided) and 10 were bilateral. In all three trimesters there was smaller hiatal AP diameter and hiatal area in women with LAM injury when compared with women without injury. On multivariable analysis of the three factors, hiatal AP diameter at rest, hiatal area at rest and operative vaginal delivery, only hiatal AP diameter at rest in all three trimesters was an independent factor of LAM injury. A larger hiatal AP diameter at rest in the first, second and third trimesters reduced the likelihood of LAM injury with odds ratios of 0.21, 0.15 and 0.21, respectively.


A smaller antenatal hiatal AP diameter at rest is a risk factor for LAM injury. The hiatal AP diameter is relatively simple to measure and the error in measurement is relatively small. A prospective study to confirm this relationship and to explore whether this measurement, performed in the midsagittal plane, is repeatable should be performed.
All Author(s) ListChan SSC, Cheung RYK, Yiu KW, Lee LL, Chung TKH
Journal nameUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume Number48
Issue Number4
Pages520 - 525
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordshiatal AP diameter, hiatal area, hiatal dimension, levator ani muscle injury, pelvic floor biometry
Web of Science Subject CategoriesAcoustics; Obstetrics & Gynecology; Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging

Last updated on 2021-16-01 at 01:20